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The Waltz

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The Waltz
The Waltz, a short story by Dorothy Parker, tells the story of an unnamed woman’s complaint with a dance partner. The pair meets at a party, when all the other dance partners are unavailable. The woman complains about the way the Man dances. Everything the man does, from the way he looks, to the steps he takes, to his cockiness makes her upset. However, the woman does not say anything to her partner. She struggles silently and it is only the reader who knows why the woman is upset. The story ends and after the dance, and the woman never reveals her thoughts or feelings.
The story is an allegory because it tells a story through the story. Parker writes about a dance, but the dance represents more then the dance between the two characters. The dance expresses the relationship that women and men have. The woman, never wanted to talk to the man, but she is forced to. The woman didn’t want to dance with the man but she is forced to. The woman didn’t make mistakes while dancing, but after dancing with him she is forced to lie and say she did. The main character is never able to tell her partner her thoughts about the man’s character and behavior.
The waltz is a dance complete by two partners. The male and female dancers both have parts to this dance and they both need to work together and work separately in order to make the dance a beautiful one. However, in the woman’s perspective, the man is unable to be a good partner because of the way he acts. He is very forward in his manner and dancing. He controls the relationship with his presence. Furthermore, he keeps the woman form being honest with her thoughts and feelings. To the woman, the man represents the worst kind of man who is also the worst kind of dancer.
The story reminded me of the novel The Kite Runner. Both the novels are told in first person. However, both novels also show the limitations that a first person novel has and that is the first person has emotions that interfere with the most important parts of the story. For example, in The Kite Runner, the main character talks about his half brother with a constant state of regret. Everything he does paints a beautiful picture of a boy. And while we shouldn’t doubt this, readers need to remember that the author is telling one of the saddest and regretful parts of his life which will be subject to distortions in the story because of emotions. The dance represents a repetitive circle that the woman faces when she deals with men, a never-ending controlling circle. However, in the circle lies the woman’s emotions which are the heart of her unhappiness.
The story was interesting to read because it takes place behind the eyes of the woman, unlike most stories that are told in the third person. While it lets the reader know exactly what one character is thinking and feeling, it also has the disadvantage that the only the characters reaction to the other characters actions are shown. This is important in this story because the woman is angry with the way the man is treating her and dancing with her. She sees him look at her, and thinks the worst of him. While he probably does look upon the woman that way, the reader cannot know for sure that the woman is over reacting to every small thing the Man does and says.
One of the things that I did not like about the story was they way the woman’s thoughts were shown. The woman was understandably upset, but the trail of thoughts the woman had seemed fake and more like writing then what the woman would actually think aloud. She almost acts as she has several voices in her, a snappy woman, a kind woman, a considerate woman, a sad woman and a tired woman all speaking their feeling about this man. The technique works in the story because it is being read, and the paragraphs separate the different types of women, but in real life, the woman would not think aloud this entire story inside a dance.…...

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